A Free Platform Where ESL Students Can Write and Publish Their Work

Hello Everyone,

My name is Uduak Imeh, and I'm a Beg 2 class ESL instructor at Progreso Latino in Central Falls, Rhode Island. I also work at the Providence Campus University of Rhode Island Writing Center as a writing consultant/tutor.

Because of my interest in writing, I am looking for a free platform where my ESL students can write and publish short paragraphs. The idea is to help them

build up writing skills that are post secondary transferable. I have successfully used storybird.com in the past, without a fee, for this endeavor. But it's no longer free, though 

my students' writing library is still intact. Perhaps someone knows a free platform that I can use so my students can continue building and sharing their writing/reading library

with the objective of honing their writing skills for prospective, academic writing. Thank you.





Hello Uduak, and others,

I love this question. One possibility, if you think describing in detail how to do or make something is a good lead into academic skills writing, is WikiHow. You may know this website as a place to learn how to do or make something yourself. Because it is a wiki, it is also a place where people describe in writing how to do things they have a great deal of experience with, such as: how to cook a certain authentic ethnic meal, how to make a medical mask, how to properly wash your hands, how to build a toy for (or with) a child, how to make a good screen capture video, how to lay paving stones, how to replace a sink faucet, how to use a 3-D printer, etc.

Some of these WikiHow articles are written by adults who are extremely knowledgeable, but not necessarily strong writers. WikiHow provides clear, structured guidelines that are helpful, and because it's a wiki other users may offer suggestions on how the article can be improved.

Several years ago I attended a Wikimedia annual conference in which the founder of WikiHow spoke, He was asked who the most prolific article writers were. He said that one came to mind immediately, a grandmother who never finished high school, who didn't write particularly well at least then, but who knew how to do and make so many wonderful things that others helped her -- on WikiHow -- to polish her writing skills.

Here's a Link to some helpful writing WikiHow article writing steps.

Several years ago I wrote a WikiHow article called How to Make a Pogo Cello. Over time 13 people have edited and improved the article including adding some wonderful illustrations. The article has been viewed over 17,000 times. I don't think my name is on it anymore as "the" author, but I am thrilled that the article still exists and is now even better than what I originally wrote.

David J. Rosen